Climate change and human health

Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health

Global project overview

WHO, along with UNDP, launched in 2010 the first global project on public health adaptation to climate change. This series of pilot projects aim to “increase adaptive capacity of national health system institutions, including field practitioners, to respond to climate-sensitive health risks”.


This project is executed by Ministries of Health and other relevant national partners in Barbados, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Kenya, Jordan, and Uzbekistan. The experiences and lesson sharing from this project will significantly contribute to identification of best practices to address the health risks associated with climate variability and change.

All country projects share four aims to enhance systems of early warning and early action; build capacity of national actors; pilot specific health risk reduction interventions; and document and share lessons learned in addressing the health risks associated with climate change in their area.

This global project addresses a wide range of health concerns as collectively the seven countries represent common health risks associated with climate change in small island developing states (SIDS) highland, water-stressed, and urban contexts. For example, China will focus on strengthening early warning and response systems to extreme heat in urban settings; whereas Jordan focuses on diarrheal disease control through safety of wastewater reuse as a response to water scarcity; and changes in vector borne disease risks are addressed by Bhutan and Kenya in highland areas, and Barbados and Fiji on small islands;

This WHO/UNDP project receives US$4.5 million for activities from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) - Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) as well as leverages significant co-financing and in-kind support from 2010-2014.